Principal's Message Term 3, Week 7, Friday 6 September 2013

School Reform and Funding Model

On Tuesday, 20 August the Minister for Education, the Hon Peter Collier (BA DipEd MLC), announced through a media statement School reforms to deliver equity and efficiency. Through the media statement

"…the State Government announced a major overhaul of public funding as part of a drive to deliver a fairer system and improve efficiency."

As a consequence of this statement, I attended a Regional Briefing last week to discuss the changes to funding arrangements and how this would affect schools. In order to give you an appreciation of the impact that this decision will have on Maylands Peninsula Primary School in 2014, I have outlined a number of key areas that are affected:

Teaching Staff

The Teaching FTE (Full Time Equivalent) based on the school's 2014 projected numbers is 35.28 FTE. The Teaching allocation for 2013 was 32.97 FTE. However, this increase in FTE is a direct result of the increase in student numbers in 2014.

Non-teaching staff

Mainstream' Education Assistants (EAs)

As all parents/carers are aware we have 'Mainstream' EAs in our Kindergarten and Pre Primary classes. Our Year 1 and Year 2 classes are also given a small allocation of EA time. In 2014 the government has indicated there will be a reduction of around 350 EAs- 'Mainstream' and 'Special Needs'- across the state. Our school's contribution to this reduction in 'Mainstream' EA time will be in the vicinity of 1.5 FTE overall.

Ethnic EAs

Earlier this year, I made mention of the fact that the school had been granted English as an Additional Language/Dialect (EAL/D) Cell status as a result of the increase in numbers of students with an EAL/D background. The most significant benefit of this decision was that the school would receive the equivalent of 2.0 FTE in the one line budget for Ethnic EAs. However, the Department will no longer be providing this level of resource. This means in effect we will have $109 080 less coming into the one-line budget as a consequence of this decision.

'Special Needs' EAs

Currently, any school that has a student in K-Year 2 who suffers severe anaphylactic reactions would receive 0.2 FTE for each student for an EA to help the child self-manage their condition. Whilst we currently do not have any students who are eligible for this funding, this assistance will nevertheless cease at the end of the year. Instead, all staff will be asked to complete an on-line professional learning module and schools will receive funding to purchase one Epi-pen per 300 students.

Long Service Leave Levy

In 2014, all schools will need to contribute $600 per teacher and $400 per non-teaching staff from our School Grant to assist the government in managing Long Service Liability. This levy will represent a reduction to our School Grant of approximately $27500 based on our 2014 school staff numbers. This is not a 'one off' levy, but will be a recurring cost that all schools will need to account for into the foreseeable future.
School Support Programmes Resource Allocation (SSPRA) The School Support Programmes Resource Allocation (SSPRA) is an allocation of funds that each school receives to help implement specific programmes or to purchase additional resources. In 2014, the Department will be implementing a 30% cut across the board for each school's 2014 SSPRA entitlement. In 2013, our school received $25376. In 2014, our school will receive $19973. This represents a difference of $5394.

Performance Management

Each year, schools are allocated a resource to enable Performance Management processes to take place. In 2013, this resource amounted to $6455. This funding will cease in 2014.

Procurement Savings

Throughout the year the school purchases equipment and goods for teaching the students and running the school e.g. reading books and cleaning equipment. The government has a number of 'common use agreements' where schools must purchase from a certain supplier. The government understands that by using these 'common use agreements' schools will save money. The school therefore has been asked to hand back to the government a 'projected saving' of around 1.5% of the School Grant. In our case, this will be in the vicinity of $1300.

Conclusion

There are significant challenges that we face as a school as a consequence of this change to resource arrangements. At this early stage, the Leadership Team are looking into all aspects of school business- staffing levels, resource allocation, programme delivery etc- in order to identify those areas that will be affected in 2014. Whilst I can't give a clear indication of what may stay and what may go, I am certain that there will be some impacts to school business.

Nevertheless, I will be working with the Leadership Team and school staff to manage this complex situation in order to ensure the best outcome for our entire school community.

If parents/carers are wishing to access any additional information regarding the new school reforms and Funding Model please visit the following sites:

Minister's Media Statement
http://www.mediastatements.wa.gov.au/Pages/Peter-Collier.aspx

Student-Centred funding model
http://www.det.wa.edu.au/

Yours sincerely,

Paul Andrijich

Principal
Maylands Peninsula Primary School